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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Dontari Poe Could Fill Middle With Kansas City Chiefs

As mock drafts continue to emerge before the NFL Combine for the 2012 NFL Draft, some momentum is gathering for the Kansas City Chiefs to possibly move toward a defensive lineman with their first choice. Michael Brockers of LSU is an option. Devon Still of Penn State is another. But Dontari Poe of Memphis has the size and strength the Chiefs could use to plug the middle. So says a couple of the latest mock drafts to come out.

Scott Wright over at NFL Countdown likes Poe to the Chiefs at No. 11 (which still has to be determined by a coin flip) and writes:

The Chiefs have a pretty nice core of young talent in place but the rebuilding job is far from complete. One spot that must still be upgraded is nose tackle, where 35-year-old Kelly Gregg was merely a stop-gap solution. Dontari Poe of Memphis isn’t a household name just yet but that will start to change in the coming months. In fact, Poe should ultimately compete to be the first defensive tackle off the board.

A 6-5 and 350 pound monster in the middle, Poe is not just big but also freakishly athletic, quick and agile. Poe is capable of playing defensive end in an odd front as well and that versatility will only add to his value. Chiefs GM Scott Pioli drafted Vince Wilfork during his tenure with the Patriots and Poe could play a similar role and have the same type of impact in Kansas City.

Another major concern is right tackle and Riley Reiff of Iowa would be the most logical option of all if available, although they could also grab Jonathan Martin of Stanford and move Branden Albert to the right side. The inside linebacker spot alongside Derrick Johnson could stand to be upgraded as well and Vontaze Burfict of Arizona St. would be an absolutely perfect fit in their scheme, although character issues will likely make it difficult to pull the trigger this early.

Russell Lande over at the Sporting News has the same choice to the Chiefs in his most recent draft. Lande writes, “Though Kansas City’s defense played well in 2011, it got by with Kelly Gregg, 35, as nose tackle. Poe is explosive and huge (estimated to be more than 350 pounds), with the combination of strength and athleticism that is difficult to find.”

The Chiefs could certainly use help along either line, so it’s not a great stretch to see the Chiefs going with Poe or Still if they are enamored enough with one on draft day.